Shiver, shake, it’s Halloween again! Are you ready for the scariest night of the year?

While we’re on the subject of fear: the people responsible for recruiting the staff of the most important companies and business schools receive hundreds of horrifically terrifying CVs every day.

What with grammatical errors, gaps and shortcomings, use of vague or banal language, “tricks” are always just around the corner when presenting an application.

How can we transform them into “treats”? Allison Vannest from Recruiter has put together a few suggestions to turn a weak application into a perfect summary of yourself and your worth.

I (Don’t) Know What You Did Last Summer
[…]According to Forbes, many job seekers with spotty employment history use a functional (or skill-based) format instead of the more standard chronological format. However, Penelope Patsuris points out that “the format makes managers suspicious and more intent on piecing together a timeline of your employment.” […]

Night of the Working Dead
Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace, cautions job seekers against writing in “Boilerplate Zombie language, using phrases like ‘Results-oriented professional with a bottom-line orientation.’” When aiming for a professional tone, many resumes end up sounding boring, lifeless, or terribly generic.

Invasion of the Grammar Errors
As this hilarious (and, thankfully, fake) resume highlights, your word processor’s spell check is not without fault. If you rely solely on it, you may find yourself proudly proclaiming to be a “Bachelorette of Science.” Here are a few proofreading pointers:

– Let your resume rest for at least 24 hours after writing it. Approaching it with fresh eyes helps you to avoid overlooking obvious mistakes

– Read it out loud. If you read a sentence differently than the way you wrote it, you may want to change the wording. Reading aloud also helps catch missing words and other errors.

– Ask a friend — preferably an English major — to look over your resume.

What do you think is the worst mistake you could make when presenting an application for a job or for admission to a business school?